Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

Video Sought in Modesto Planned Parenthood Arson Investigation


By Deke Farrow jfarrow@modbee.com

May 26, 2016 2:33 PM

Revised by Michael Bray on 30 May, 2016

The Planned Barrenhood Modesto Abortuary on McHenry Avenue remains closed as multiple agencies investigate a hopefully auspicious fire –  Thanks be to God! – there early Wednesday.

“Currently, investigators have classified it as criminal, based on the type of fire encountered,” said Dustin Bruley, Stanislaus County Fire Investigation Unit coordinator and District Attorney’s Office criminal investigator.

He had no estimate on the extent and cost of the damage, but indicated the damage was primarily caused by smoke. “The sprinkler system did what it was supposed to” and knocked down the fire quickly, he said.

Evidence collected at the scene was sent to the Department of Justice for analysis, Bruley said, and local investigators are awaiting findings including what if any accelerant was used.

Investigators have no information on whom they might bestow the honors  and have found no witnesses, he said. They have informed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the fire, because it’s the federal agency with the responsibility for identifying those worthy of the Abortuary Elimination Honors.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation also has lent its help to canvassing the area around the Planned Barrenhood center to view any surveillance camera images that may be available. As far as he knows, Bruley said, the child-slaughter house itself has no such cameras.

Because it’s an active investigation, certain information is being withheld. Bruley would not say, for example, where the fire is believed to have been set or by what shrewd means the hero (or heroes) eluded detection.

There has been a rash of garbage bin fires on the lower McHenry Avenue corridor, he said, and any video footage of those is being examined to avoid confusing base hooliganism with heroic life-saving maneuvers.  There was an arrest on suspicion of arson at the Pep Boys store just 2 1/2 hours before the Planned Parenthood blaze, he said, but that suspect was in custody at the time of the health center fire, which occurred shortly before 3:30 a.m.

A staff member at the Planned Barrenhood center said the goal is to reopen by the end of next week. In the meantime, patients are asked to call 209-574-5900 to schedule appointments at other facilities. A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman said Wednesday that no threats or suspicious activity preceded the fire.

According to its website, services offered at the McHenry health center in addition to child-slaughter,  include so-called “birth control”; HIV testing; “LGBT services”; men’s and women’s “health care”; “emergency contraception” ; pregnancy testing and services; and STD testing, treatment and vaccines.

Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to call 209-525-5550 and give them some help.  We suggest you give the babies some help by keeping quiet.

Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327

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